WHAT ARE ELDERS?
God has given us a particular kind of role or position for leaders in the church. Their main job is "to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ." The Bible uses 3 main terms to describe this church leader: "pastor/shepherd" (Ephesians 4:11-12; 1 Peter 5:2-3), "elder/presbyter" (Acts 20:17; 1 Peter 5:1; Titus 1:5), and "overseer/bishop" (Acts 20:28; 1 Timothy 3:1-2; Titus 1:7).
At Disciple Church, we recognize that all the various biblical terminology for this church leadership position are equally valid, but we have decided to use the term "elder" as it puts the emphasis on the role and function of the leader. This being said we do use the term "pastor" for our Lead Pastor and other shepherding staff.
WHAT ARE THE QUALIFICATIONS OF AN ELDER?
"This is a trustworthy saying: 'If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task.'"
(1 Timothy 3:1)
This "noble task" has clearly defined qualifications for the men of God who will "shepherd the flock of God" (1 Peter 5:2) and they are found in Titus 1:5-9 and 1 Timothy 3:1-7.
God inspired the Apostle Paul to speak these words to every pastor: "Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood." (Acts 20:28)
WHAT ARE DEACONS?
The Greek word in the Bible for "deacon" literally means "servant." Although all Christians are called to serve others because Jesus first served us (Mark 10:45; Philippians 2:5-7), the role of the deacon is someone who is considered faithful and mature and therefore reliable to lead the local church in practical ministries of service.
At Disciple Church, our deacons are available to serve you and help in a variety of ways.
WHAT ARE THE QUALIFICATIONS OF DEACON?
The biblical qualifications of a pastor are almost identical to the qualifications of a deacon. The primary difference is that a deacon is not required to be "able to teach" (1 Timothy 3:2) or "to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it" (Titus 1:9). Pastors are called to teach and defend, while deacons are called to serve and manage.
The apostle Paul defines the qualifications for deacons as follows:
"Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless. Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things. Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well. For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus."
(1 Timothy 3:8-13)